A 60-year-old man who before yesterday had never run afoul of the law, has to be on his best behaviour for the next six months if he wants to keep his record clean and avoid a three-month stay at HMP Dodds.
Grantley Oneale Layne, of Pilgrim Place B, Christ Church, went before Magistrate Douglas Frederick today charged with stealing several items from Jordans Supermarket Limited.
Layne admitted to stealing two packs of soap powder, two tins of tuna, two tins of luncheon meat, a pack of bacon, a pack of franks, a bottle of cream, four bars of soap, three packs of chicken and two packs of cheese.
He went into the supermarket yesterday morning and was observed by the security guard putting the mentioned items in two bags he was carrying. Layne then went to the cashier and paid for a bag of potatoes and tried to exit the establishment, but he was stopped by security and police were called in.
“I don’t know why I make that old mistake. After I did it, I find the remorse to say that I should never have done it,” Layne told the magistrate today.
Frederick asked the man why he had put himself in such a situation after having a clean record for 60 years, noting that his offence carried up to a six-month prison term.
“I really don’t want to go up there [jail] so I am asking for leniency,” Layne pleaded. “This is the first time I ever do something like this. I couldn’t even find here [the court] this morning.”
Frederick told Layne that hunger could not even be used as an excuse for the theft, as he had stolen “all sorts of things, including soap”.
However, he told the man, “you are not eligible for prison as it is your first offence”.
It was at this point that Layne requested the magistrate impose a fine.
However, Frederick pointed out to him that he could not afford to pay a fine if he was stealing.
“You lived up to 60 and have not offended, and I want you to go back to how you were living before,” he added.
No conviction was recorded against him.
“Excuse me, Sir. When does the bond start? From the time I leave here?” Layne asked, to the amusement of the court, to which the magistrate answered in the affirmative.
“Okay, Sir, I understand. If I breach it, I going up for three months. Thank you, hear?” Layne said.